Academic year
2018/2019 Syllabus of previous years
Official course title
Course code
EM6055 (AF:282113 AR:158680)
On campus classes
ECTS credits
Degree level
Master's Degree Programme (DM270)
Educational sector code
3rd Term
Course year
The course is an optional one within the degree programme in Management. The goal of the course is to provide an advanced understanding of decision processes in management at the individual and group level. It introduces to the most common types of decision errors and biases, drawing on recent developments in the fields of behavioral economics, psychology and organization science . The course applies such general knowledge to a variety of decision making fields, including finance, bargaining behavior, human resource management, consumer behavior, medical and political decision making. It develops in the classroom a variety of examples, case studies and classroom experiments.
The course is aimed at improving the decision capabilities of students, by enhancing their awareness of sources of human error and their knowledge of strategies for dealing with decision making tasks.
1. Knowledge and understanding. Students are expected to acquire advanced knowledge of the fundamental concepts of decision making, drawing on recent developments in the fields of behavioral economics, psychology and organization science. They are expected to understand how such concepts apply to a diversity of domains in the fields of individual and interactive decision making. Students are expected to develop an understanding of the sources of human errors and biases and of strategies to prevent them. On the methodological side, the course will also introduce students to the use of experimental research in management disciplines.
2. Applying knowledge and understanding. Students will develop a capability to apply the fundamental concepts to a great variety of concrete examples. They will learn by making decision making errors in simple classroom experiments, analyzing and correcting them.
3. Judgmental capabilities. The course emphasizes the development of judgmental capabilities in the area of decision making by making students aware of the biases to which they are exposed. Students are encouraged to develop reflective attitudes towards their own decisions and to be aware of how other people's errors and biases may affect them. Students are encouraged to developing a critical attitude towards standard ideas in management and economics.
4. Communication abilities. Students will learn to communicate with groups through groupwork opportunities, and to present their work to a broader audience in the classroom.
5. Learning abilities. The course will enhance the ability of students to make a critical use of textbooks, to look into integrative readings, and to integrate different forms of learning, in particular integrating text-based learning with case studies discussion and experimental activities.
The course assumes a basic knowledge of principles of economic decision making and of probability.
Part I, Individual behavior:
Slow/fast thinking
Heuristics and biases: availability, representativeness, confirmation
Dealing with risk: prospect theory
Dealing with ambiguity
Thinking about time. Temptation and procrastination
Part II, interactive decision making
Social utility: fairness
Escalation to commitment
Decision making in groups
Bounded ethicality
Culture and decision making
Understanding organizational accidents: nuclear plants, air flights, space missions
M. Bazerman & D. Moore, Judgment in Managerial Decision Making, Wiley 2012, ISBN: 978-1-118-54313-9
Integrative readings will be suggested during the course.
The exam will be written, with six open questions. Questions will ascertain the knowledge of the basic concepts presented in the course, the capability to apply them to examples, and the critical understanding of such concepts. Students will have to answer 5 out of the 6 questions. Each question will have the same weight on the final evaluation.
The final grade will also reflect performance of students on learning activities during the course (case study discussions, and groupwork), up to 2 points.
The course will be based on classroom teaching, with all material used during classes made available to students through the moodle platform.
During classroom hours there will be activities of case studies discussion. A special emphasis will be given to classroom experiments.
Students will be involved in groupwork activities outside classroom time to prepare case studies presentations and discussions.
Additional readings and multimedia materials will be available on the course moodle page.
Accessibility, Disability and Inclusion
Accommodation and support services for students with disabilities and students with specific learning impairments

Ca’ Foscari abides by Italian Law (Law 17/1999; Law 170/2010) regarding support
services and accommodation available to students with disabilities. This includes students with
mobility, visual, hearing and other disabilities (Law 17/1999), and specific learning impairments (Law 170/2010). If you have a disability or impairment that requires accommodations (i.e., alternate testing, readers, note takers or interpreters) please contact the Disability and Accessibility Offices in Student Services:


This subject deals with topics related to the macro-area "Poverty and inequalities" and contributes to the achievement of one or more goals of U. N. Agenda for Sustainable Development

Definitive programme.
Last update of the programme: 25/04/2018